Well, the snow did not mess up our holiday revelry.

On Friday evening, well before the weather rolled in, we joined our fun friends the Marstons for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra holiday pops concert and listen, if you’re not in a festive mood after that event, you’re not trying.

The show is held at the Salem Civic Center (a town over from Roanoke), which gave us a chance to meet up with Brett and Colleen for dinner at Allsports Cafe, a friendly, tasty sports-themed family restaurant. We also got to catch a moment or two of the Salem Christmas Parade, which Colleen explained tends to inconveniently land on the same night as the pops concert each year.

We arrived to a very crowded arena and found our seats in the stands. Down on the arena floor, there had to be well over a thousand concert-goers who had purchased tables for the evening, all turned out in holiday finery. As they finished up their dinners, the orchestra members took their seats, accompanied by Rob Gallagher, a terrific vocalist, and four choral groups: the Roanoke Symphony Chorus, the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, the Blacksburg Master Chorale, and the Holiday Pops Honors Chorus. That’s a lot of singers.

But the highlight came in the second half, when the “Electric-est Santa” brought out his guitar, along with Santa’s Six-Stringers, and they turned it up to 11. When the whole ensemble started in on an homage to beloved Virginia Tech football’s entrance anthem, “Enter Santaman,” the combined choirs jumped up and down as if they were in the stands of Lane Stadium

The evening wrapped up with a sing-along, which did not include “White Christmas” but that wouldn’t become relevant until Sunday morning anyway. This concert is a part of many Roanokers’ holiday traditions, and it is one we are looking forward to continuing!

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